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Market Commentary

​​​Weekly Retail & Leisure News - 05 May, 2015

Omni-channel retailers report positive results

Argos LFLs grew 0.6% in the year to February 28, contributing to Home Retail Group’s pre-tax profits growth of 14% to £132.1m. LFLs at sister retailer Homebase grew 2.3%. The internet now accounts for 46% of sales at Argos, who still publish two 1,500 page catalogues a year. Despite customer demand for the catalogue not diminishing as fast as their chief executive expected, Argos is pushing ahead with the roll out of digital stores, with plans for more than 200 by the end of February 2016. This includes 100 concessions in Homebase stores, 10 smaller digital stores, 10 concessions in Sainsbury’s foodstores and the conversion of up to 100 traditional stores.

Next has announced that its total sales for the 13 weeks to April 25 rose 4.1%. The fashion retailer cited warm weather and the earlier launch of its new summer line for the better-than-expected sales. The company's biggest growth came from its former catalogue business which now encompasses its online platform, Next Directory, with a 9.2% rise in total sales contrasting to a 0.5% rise in the brand’s retail division.

In addition, in the year to February 28, N Brown has reported a 11% and 1.4% rise in Jacamo and Simply Be brand sales, respectively. The former catalogue retailer’s LFLs at stores grew 12% across all brands and it announced plans to increase the number of UK stores to 25 from 15. Ecommerce now accounts for 59% of N Brown's home shopping sales. All three examples highlight the importance of retailers meeting consumer demands for a seamless, omni-channel retail experience, with the physical space at its heart. Find out more about the future role of physical space in Redefining Retail Places.

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